Several arrested for jumping on cop car

Posted in at 7:39 by RjZ

Why does this happen? 9NEWS – Article – Several arrested for jumping on cop car I mean, your ‘team’ wins some apparently significant game and people decide to block intersections and jump up and down on police cars. Please, dear readers, tell me what the hell the point is.

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Oh, sure, it’s the Norwegians fault.

Posted in at 12:14 by RjZ

So, Gore won the Nobel peace prize. Interesting. It doesn’t say much for Gore, after all, Yassir Arafat won it also, and I don’t know that he did much for world peace. The Nobel committee said Gore was “probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.” That’s hard to argue.

The loud, vocal, minority who believes, contrary to the views of most scientists, that climate change has not been contributed by humankind seems to think Gore’s pretty damn responsible too. They jumped right on CNN.com to complain about how he’s promoted pseudo science and the like, or that they selected Gore for political reasons. Those damn Norwegians, always mixing in American politics!

Another U.S. American has won the Nobel Peace prize. Regardless of what you may think of the award, it’s good press for this nation, and with Bush still not making friends outside of our borders, much less inside, these days, we could use all the help we can get.

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I’ll have another

Posted in Travel at 17:35 by RjZ

I enjoy both beer and travel very much, so it’s not surprising that I’ve tried to sample beer every where that I’ve visited. Beer is enjoyed nearly everywhere I’ve visited, but rarely in the exact same way. In the U.S., you can tell from the “coldest beer in town” signs at gas stations across the nation that drinkers here like their beer cold. Way too cold, if you ask me; how can I appreciate the hoppy aroma with ice crystals floating in the glass? The United Kingdom is equally famous for their room temperature, really cellar temperature, beer.

Germans take seven minutes to serve the perfect Pils, while Belgians serve every beer in its respective, custom glass. The notoriously cheap Dutch uncharacteristically keep pouring beer until they fill the glass and scraping off the over-flowing foam with a special plastic knife sending it irrevocably delicious beer down the drain!

What got me started on this research of beer serving, toasting and enjoying traditions was my first trip to Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was still Czechoslovakia at the time, by the way. My friend and I were backpacking around Europe like many people do during their college years. We’d joined up with two fellow travelers from France and, after our fill of site seeing, we made our way to a downtown pub where we sat down together with several locals at one of the many community tables and each ordered a beer.

The Czech Republic is where Pils beer was invented. Pils is the light yellow stuff that the rest of the world calls beer even if they only have one kind. While I am not usually a fan of watery yellow beer, there is something unmistakably drinkable, quaff-able beer drinkers say, about Czech Pils. It doesn’t hurt that it was about $0.50 for a half liter either.

The server dropped a coaster for each of us and marked a small stroke on the edge before setting down our delicately foaming beer. It wasn’t long before the beer disappeared from our glasses. As I put down my empty glass, exhaling satisfyingly, the smiling waiter nodded and returned immediately with another glass of beer and another stroke on my coaster.

Now that’s service, isn’t it? The same happened for the rest of our party and we were pretty impressed by how these guys had read our minds. Another glass drained and here comes the waiter with a beer and check mark! The French girls, more used to drinking wine, were a little unsure they still wanted more at this point. My traveling partner was pretty sure he didn’t feel like more, but once that final glass was empty, the waiter promptly came by with yet another.

And another while everyone (well, everyone else, I was having a great time) tried to explain to them that they were done, but he kept trying to explain that we had ordered another beer! How?! We looked around and noticed something interesting, when people were ready to pay, they’d call the waiter over and he’d count up strokes on their coasters. They’d pay, and then finish their last gulp of beer before leaving. That was the secret! We kept finishing our beer and then asking him to come over so we could pay! It turns out that draining your glass is Czech for, “I’ll have another.” How convenient. An enjoyable lesson that made me understand I had more beer research ahead of me. And as soon as I got over the six or so beers I inadvertently ordered, I had plans to get to it!

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Apple’s “backlash”

Posted in at 9:33 by RjZ

Computer market analysts, journalists and bloggers are up in arms because Apple lowered the price for an iPhone. Sure they lowered it a lot and only a few months after people just bought the $600 (!) phone, but really, are we serious here? People are upset that they lowered the price?

Folks like Rob Enderle are calling it a backlash:

“Even if the price reduction didn’t happen to you, it happened to someone you know,” Enderle said, adding that “a lot of good alternatives are starting to emerge.”The Apple backlash stems from September’s unexpected $200 price cut for the iPhone two months after its release.

“Even if the price reduction didn’t happen to you, it happened to someone you know,” Enderle said, adding that “a lot of good alternatives are starting to emerge.”

There is gnashing of teeth that this was a horrible market debacle, but I’ve got news for you. People who line up, overnight, to buy a $600 phone-cum-modern art piece aren’t really customers you have to worry much about losing. They’re like delegates at the U.S. Republican or Democratic national party conventions. They’re sold! They drank the kool-aide. They’re about as likely to give up on Apple because they lowered the price as delegates are to switch political parties because analysts think they chose the wrong candidate.

Give me a break. At least now the phone is almost affordable for a few more of us.

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